Playboy Mansion Historic Crib Under Serious Construction

The Playboy Mansion is getting a serious facelift ... and while other businesses across Los Angeles have come to a screeching halt, the crib's construction crew rages on.

We've obtained several photos of the mansion taken Thursday, just outside one of the side entrances. The storied estate is fully enveloped in scaffolding ... there's also excavation equipment.

The photos are the first images we've seen since Hugh Hefner's death back in 2017. Before he died, he sold the property to billionaire Daren Metropoulos for $100 million. Metropoulos then struck a deal with L.A. City officials to protect the main structure.

The agreement locked in Daren's previous commitment to "not demolish the main residence and repair the facade of the structure while maintaining its original condition as part of his extensive renovation."

Basically, the deal allows Daren to transform the mansion without landmark status, which would have imposed a slew of restrictions.

It's unclear exactly what all Daren has planned for the Mansion, but if these pics are any indication, we're not gonna know for a while.

Don't touch the grotto!!!

Tyler Perry $21,000 Tip To Help Struggling ATL Restaurant Workers

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Tyler Perry is an angel, and he proved it once again when he went to a Houston's restaurant in Atlanta Sunday and left a $500 tip for each of the 42 out-of-work servers.

Tyler's a big fan of the chain and has been driving over to the one on Northside Parkway pretty frequently to pick up some delicious grub.

He showed his appreciation in a big way ... with way more than a 20% tip ... $21,000!!!

It's a lifesaver for these out-of-work employees. The federal money fired workers are supposed to get maybe delayed ... in some cases up to 20 weeks, and that just doesn't cut it.

Tyler is one of the most charitable guys in entertainment. When there's a disaster anywhere in the world, Tyler's the one to fly in supplies. As we reported, Tyler had a plane flown down to the Bahamas after it was devastated by Hurricane Dorian.

With millions of people out of work and things looking like they're only going to get worse this month, the generosity of everyone is about the only thing that's gonna get us through this.

Thank you again, Mr. Perry.

Elton John Donates a Mil ... To Prevent HIV Positive People from Contracting Coronavirus

NO ONE'S LEFT BEHIND

Elton John has dug deep into his pockets only to pull out a million bucks to protect people living with HIV from contracting the coronavirus.

Sir Elton posted a video, saying, "Today, I’m proud to announce that my Foundation is launching a $1million COVID-19 Emergency Fund to make sure that our frontline partners can respond to the effects of COVID-19 on HIV care for the most marginalized communities around the world."

The singer, who also hosted last Sunday's coronavirus relief concert, Fox Presents the iHeart Living Room Concert for America, has been a driving force in combating the AIDS epidemic for 30 years. People with HIV often have compromised immune systems, so they can be especially vulnerable in contracting the disease.

Elton says, "Now and always, I’m committed to not leave anyone affected by HIV behind. Visit http://ejaf.org/covid19 for more info. Sending love to all of our Foundation’s partners, grantees, supporters, frontline workers and members of our community during this time."

Astros' Justin Verlander Donating His Weekly MLB Checks To Coronavirus Charities

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WE'RE HERE TO HELP

Astros ace Justin Verlander is about to be donating a boatload of money for the next couple months to coronavirus charities -- and a lot of people have radically differing thoughts on it.

The pitcher and his wife, Kate Upton, took to IG Saturday to announce ... in light of the MLB continuing to pay its players for at least the next couple months -- per Justin himself -- he says he and Kate have decided to donate those funds toward COVID-19 relief efforts.

They say they'll choose different charities each week for each check, and announce them on their pages. There are tons to choose from these days, so no shortage of good orgs.

Now, time for some math ... 'cause Justin's donations are going to be staggering based on the numbers of his most recent contract with the 'Stros. He got signed to a 2-year, $66 million extension recently (good through the '20 and '21 seasons) and if you break that down -- it's about $634k a week. If he donates for two months ... $5 mil, more or less.

Probably more.

As for how folks received this very gesture ... a truly mixed bag, with lots of people responding drastically different depending on whose feed you check. If you hop on over to Justin's IG page, it seems to be nothing but love in his comments. Not so on Twitter ...

Bleacher Report reposted his video on its Twitter page, and the comments are brutal ... with most everyone blasting him for the Astros cheating scandal. Yeah, they still mad 😬

Rex Ryan Sorry For Calling Cooper A 'Turd' 'I Can't Believe I Said That'

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10:39 AM PT -- Rex Ryan just issued an apology to Amari Cooper for calling the Cowboys star a "turd" ... saying on ESPN, "I can't believe I said that. Used that word. Obviously, it was a poor choice by me to say what I said about Amari."

Ryan went on to say he still believes the Cowboys "overspent" for Amari ... but said he shouldn't have ever called the receiver a "turd" in his rant.

"What I added at the end of that," Rex said, "I want to apologize to Amari again and hope he accepts my apology."

9:09 AM PT -- Cooper's teammate is defending the wideout ... with Cowboys cornerback Chidobe Awuzie saying, "Old man prolly never met Amari yet attacking bro character. Those that kno him kno he a dawg."

"I wouldn't have paid this turd. No way in hell. No way in hell would I have paid this guy."

That's Rex Ryan going OFF on NFL star Amari Cooper ... saying the wide receiver didn't deserve his 5-year, $100 MILLION extension with the Dallas Cowboys ONE BIT!!!

"I wouldn't have paid this guy," Rex said on ESPN's "Get Up!" Friday. "To me, this is the biggest disappearing act in the National Football League. He doesn't show up on the road ... when the competition's good -- when he's against the top corners, that guy disappears."

Rex added, "He doesn't love football! Hell with it, he stops his routes, he does all this!"

Of course, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones would strongly disagree ... because on the first day of free agency last month -- he made Amari a top priority, paying him even before Dak Prescott.

But, Rex says he believes that's a huge mistake ... because while 25-year-old Amari has logged nearly 2,000 receiving yards in just 25 games in Dallas, he claims the dude can't consistently ball out.

"There's only one time that I can remember in recent memory on elite receivers and disappearing acts like Amari Cooper," Rex says. "That was the kid that the Raiders had a few years ago -- Oh! That's right, that was Amari Cooper! This is who he is!"

Rex says he would have paid Prescott -- who was franchise tagged by the team last month -- first, and says Jerry's going to regret his free agency decisions.

"They made a huge mistake right here," Rex says.

Originally Published -- 7:18 AM PT

Disney Annual Pass Holders Get Relief ... Refunds On the Way!!!

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Disney is making its most loyal fans happy by pausing payments for annual pass holders and refunding monthly payments during the coronavirus pandemic.

Here's the deal ... the Mouse House just announced it will no longer continue charging Annual Pass members while its parks remain closed due to the virus, and it's refunding scheduled monthly payments that were changed since the outbreak.

As we reported ... Disney pissed off a lot of people by continuing to charge Pass holders at a time when millions of folks are hurting for cash.

Disney posted an update to the annual pass holder payment policy Thursday, offering some much needed financial relief in a dark time. The policy flip will ease minds and wallets, and seek to undo some very bad optics.

Disney also says park pass holders who already paid in full for their annual passes can get a partial refund for the period the theme parks are closed.

The new policy kicks in this Sunday, when Disney says it will halt automatic payments and waive all upcoming monthly payments while the parks remain shuttered.

The refunds will apply to monthly payments made between March 14 and April 4. Once the parks reopen, Disney says payments will resume as scheduled.

Jeff Bezos Donates $100 Mil To Feeding America

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Jeff Bezos and his company have been doing a lot to combat the problems caused by the coronavirus pandemic, but now the Amazon honcho's using his immense wealth to battle one problem specifically -- hunger.

Bezos announced he's sending a $100 million gift to the non-profit organization Feeding America to help replenish its national network of food banks and pantries ... with the goal being "getting food to those countless families who need it."

Jeff says food insecurity is a problem in the U.S. even during ordinary times, but "COVID-19 is amplifying that stress significantly."

That's because many non-profit food banks rely on donations of excess food from restaurants, and as you know ... many restaurants are now closed. Bezos says to make matters worse, the supply is dwindling ... but demand is going up.

That's where his huge donation will come in "to support those on the front lines at our nation's food banks and those who are relying on them for food."

The Amazon boss joins a long list of celebs, athletes and companies donating millions to support coronavirus relief efforts ... including Oprah's $10 mil donation earlier Thursday.

LaMelo Ball & Manager Plan To Buy His AUS Hoops Team ... Team Says Not Done Deal

Breaking News

4:32 PM PT -- HOLD UP, EVERYONE.

The Australian NBL just released a statement saying the deal is NOT official ... yet.

According to ESPN, the NBL confirmed there have been talks of Ball and Jackson buying the team, but the league says the team is still exploring all its options before giving the green light on the transaction.

So ... hang tight.

This might be the biggest baller move yet ... LaMelo Ball and his manager, ex-NBA player Jermaine Jackson, just teamed up to buy the Australian pro basketball team Ball suited up for this past season.

BIG BALLER!!!!

18-year-old Ball was a beast in 12 games for the Illawarra Hawks last year ... averaging 17 points, 7.5 rebounds and 7 assists a game before a foot injury sidelined him for the rest of the season.

Jackson -- who played 5 seasons in the NBA -- explained the move to ESPN, saying Ball loved his time in the Australian NBL so much that he decided to take charge.

The Hawks were reportedly facing financial issues while Ball was on the team ... and now the top NBA prospect is hoping to keep the shop open for his teammates and future players.

"Melo loves the Illawarra fans," Jackson said. "He loves that community. They opened their arms to him. They made us feel like we are at home. When we started hearing about the issues they were going through, we talked about it and decided, 'Let's own the team.'"

Jackson insists the move won't affect Ball's bright NBA future ... saying the plan is to hire the right people to keep the team running.

"He wants to create the best basketball program possible for that community there."

No word on how much it cost to buy the team ... but it can't be cheap.

Originally published -- 10:25 AM PT

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